Wealth and vice: pitfalls for Chinese richest in 2007

Updated: 2008-01-07 21:11

BEIJING -- Illegal fund raising, contract fraud, bribery, tax evasion, loan fraud and mayhem posed the six major forms of crimes that toppled China's wealthy private business owners in 2007.

Before their fall, some even had renowned political and social status as deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC), and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Others were celebrated charitarians, reported China Youth Daily on Monday.

Wu Ying, a 26-year-old woman, who chaired the board of Bense Trade Co Ltd in Zhejiang Province, was arrested for illegal fund raising and owing her employees back pay last February, the newspaper said.

She reportedly amassed a fortune of 3.8 billion yuan (US$506 million), according to the Guangdong-based newspaper Shenzhen Daily. The newspaper ranked her the sixth-richest woman in the Chinese mainland in early 2007.

Related readings:
 China lottery officials jailed for bribery
 Courts handle more bribery cases
 Bribery rampant in real estate projects
 Official dismissed for bribery in local leadership reshuffle

 Database helps deter bribery
 Bribery redefined to curb rising cases
 Chinese courts see increase in commercial bribery cases
 Former drug official jailed for bribery

Wu had made a series of donations to her alma mater and other charities before the police investigated her and unveiled her crimes.

"Chinese entrepreneurs should be educated to raise their law awareness," said a commentary in the newspaper running along with fallen tycoons article.

"They also need to know they are not supposed to push the moral boundaries to the extent of violating the law. It is better if they follow the basic moral standards at the very beginning."

Other cases revealed being too greedy and self-willed also contributed to the downfall of those business people.

The former chairman of the Shenzhen-listed Jiaozuo Xin'an Science and Technology, Xie Guosheng, was jailed on fraud charges in July. He was previously No. 348 on Forbes' China 2005 rich list with an estimated 550 million yuan.

Shanghai tycoon Zhou Zhengyi was arrested for bribery and forging VAT receipts last January, just a few months after completing a three-year imprisonment for fraud and stock manipulation.

Zhou, No. 11 on the Forbes list of 100 richest mainlanders in 2002, was the majority shareholder of the Hong Kong-listed Shanghai Land Holdings and Shanghai Merchants Holdings.

The list goes on.

   1 2   

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours